December 12, 2012

ACAS organizes petition to President Obama on Democratic Republic of the Congo


Today, 221 academics and scholars of Africa in the United States sent a petition to President Obama to take action to protect civilians in the conflict zone of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The petition was released by the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS), since 1977 a national organization of professors and other specialists on Africa.

The press release quoted Noah Zerbe, political scientist at Humboldt State University and co-chairperson of ACAS: “According to the International Rescue Committee, with more than 5 million killed in this disordered nation in the last 14 years, the conflicts there are the world’s deadliest documented conflict since WW II, yet it has not had the attention it needs.”

The scholars are calling on President Obama to take bilateral actions and actions through the United Nations to protect civilians in the conflict zone of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Specifically, the petition calls on the President to use U.S. influence at the UN to provide the MONUC forces with the mandate and resources to protect civilians, to sanction Rwanda and Uganda for any support to militias there, to use the SEC to enforce the Dodd-Frank Act on conflict minerals, and to fully implement the “Obama Act” of 2006 on the Congolese Army for their contributions to the disorder.

Scholars who would like to join ACAS in policy-oriented research and action on this issue and other issues concerning the U.S. military role in Africa may contact David Wiley (wiley@msu.edu), chair of the ACAS Demilitarization Task Force.

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